Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Three more letters.

As the girls move through their first year in a "real" school (kindergarten), they are learning the letters of the alphabet, along with a handful of other concepts.  They continue to bombard us with questions on a range of topics from religion ("Why does God _____?") to sports ("Why are you watching the Patriots?") to family ("Is Grandma G. your mommy, daddy?").  Curiosity is high for all three of them and I love it!  I love watching their faces as they ponder the answers Sarah and I provide.  It is one of the multiple joys of parenthood!

Trying to explain Sarah's four-day work schedule and my study-unemployment-school-interview schedule is another thing.  Emily has been especially curious about how I spend my time when Grammy comes during the day to watch them.  I am studying for the CPA exam.  They know I am done with grad school, so Emily has been asking me questions about my studying for the exam.  If you could only see her cute little face and lips when she asks me a question...her eyes roll upward and she thinks REAL hard!

Emily has asked a lot of the questions I have been asking myself about this exam...like WHY!?

The answer to the WHY question is a long one, but for now let's just say the answer is FOR THE BETTER.  Sarah & I hope the long-term outcome will be a better quality of life for the entire family.

In the meantime, the content of the study material, for me, is tough!  Most of the stuff is material from undergrad - over 20 years ago!

I am taking the FAR section one week for today.  Passing rate is less than 50% for first-timers.  I certainly hope I beat the odds!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Silliness and Middle "C"

With summer's door closed and winter's chill creeping in, time outside is dwindling.  FAST.

And, of course, having three five-year olds' bundled energy indoors can be trying at times.  They are kids and they are active kids.  I get that and Sarah and I are pleased that our girls are active.  Yes - Allie, Anna and Emily have their time in front of the television but they spnd much more time playing.  And they get goofy.  And silly.  And wild too.

This is a little clip of them being silly but cute (of course).  The first part is at the piano which we recently moved out of the girls' playroom into the kitchen area so it doesn't serve as a shelf anymore - it serves as a piano! 

Emily says she wants to take piano lessons....

Saturday, October 20, 2012

One of Allie's numerous dance routines.

A dance routine choreographed and/or performed by either Allie, Anna or Emily is pretty much a daily occurrence in our home. 

Allie especially loves dancing and performing.  She takes it seriously too!

I love this performance in particular - Allie looks so DARN CUTE!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Anna has Spina Bifida. For Real.

Some kids (and adults) with Spina Bifida look "normal" to those who do not know they were born with SB.  These individuals with SB do not require the use of a wheelchair, leg braces, or some other form of walking aide.  Their disability is invisible to most people. 
Our daughter Anna has Spina Bifida.  And to most people her disability is invisible (most of the time).  Believe it or not, it is even easy for some family members to forget she has SB - they may see her once a month or a few times a year.  And, until they see Sarah or me take Anna to be catherized, they see her as one of the girls.  This is good.  I like that she is looked at as "normal". 
We are in many ways "lucky" that Anna's SB is not as severe as others with SB.  Anna has full mobility of her legs - no leg braces, no crutches and no wheelchair needed.  But...her leg strength is not all there.  This, combined with the fact that her legs are so short, makes Anna prone to lose her balance.  She tires easily as well.  All these factors contribute to her falling more often than other children her age.  
She took one of those falls a couple of weeks ago under my watch as we (Anna, Allie, Emily and I) were walking from the van in the school parking lot to the entrance to the school.  In the end, it was not that big of a deal.  But I felt TERRIBLE.
For me, it is sometimes difficult.  I want to give Anna room - I want her to challenge herself.  On the other hand, I obviously want her to ALWAYS have the support she needs - whether it be a hand to hold or a  shoulder to cry on. 
I did not have her hand when she fell and hit her head.  I let my guard down and she fell.  It was kind of ugly.  It was a fairly small cut on her forehead but there was a lot of blood.  Emily and Allie stopped looking because they didn't like the sight of it.
So, this all happened at the start of the school day.  Long story short is that we ended up at a local emergency room to get the cut looked at.  The same emergency room Sarah & I had taken Anna to about two years ago when she lost her balance and hit her head on the corner of a wall in our home.
This is Anna waiting for the staff to stitch her forehead.  She is making the "ducky" face that only Anna can make.

It was interesting to be there when they put the stitches in.  It was obvious that the staff (a doctor and 2 nurses) was not expecting Anna to cooperate.  They wrapped her whole body (legs & arms) tight in a sheet and assigned parts of her body to everyone.  "I'll take her legs, you hold her arms."  The doctor said "I'll hold her head in place." "Dad, pull right up and sit close."
Anna flinched a couple of times and gave the "I don't like what they are doing" face.  But, other than that, she was still and didn't cry at all!  Yes, it was more painful for me than it was for Anna.
After the stitches had been put in:

The ducky face. Post-stitches:

Sarah tells me I did the self-pic incorrectly.  It was a mirror shot:
The stitches stayed in over the weekend (5+ days) and again Anna handled having an egg on her forehead like a champ.  A wince or too when we changed her band-aid but I think everyone else felt worse about the whole thing than Anna did.
Having the stitches taken out by the pediatrician was almost more eventful than the ER visit.  It was a Monday morning appointment so I took Anna (and Allie and Em came along with us).  Oh my...the questions the three of them were firing off on the ride to the pedi!!  Most of the questions were the "will it hurt?" type of question but just asked a different way.  Like "how does he take the stitches out Daddy?" or "will Anna get a shot?"
It took awhile for the doc to get the stitches out.  And, having Allie and Emily in the examination room with us didn't help matters.  Anna's doctor was stressing so he kindly "requested" that Allie and Emily wait in the waiting area.  No problem.  The ER doctor apparently put the stitches in TIGHT.  Tight stitches on forehead skin with a dry scab makes for a difficult pull and snip (apparently).  The stitches came out finally.  Relief!
This is Anna while we were waiting in the examination room.  She is holding a luvvie Auntie Joan (my sister) had given her.

Anna has Spina Bifida.  It may not be visible to everyone everyday, but it is certainly visible to Anna. And Sarah.  And me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happy Anniversary 2012.

While pulling together this slide show/video in celebration of our wedding anniversary, it was amazing to see just how many memories Sarah & I have created in such a (relatively) short period of time. We have been married 8 years.
Happy Anniversary Hon!